Taking Maureen to the Middle East travel blog













Woke around 6am this morning although we could have slept in until 7ish. It had been raining overnight but was not at present.

Went down to breakfast with the usual feast of Greek cheeses, breads, jams and pastes, lemon cake and heaps of coffee and cherry juice for all.

Decided to walk around to the museum and archeological site as it was only at the end of the village. It was only shortly after 8 am but before long it was thundering quite loudly as we made our way down to the Museum.

I have been really impressed with the museums we have visited so far. They are very modern and well cared for and display artefacts which have been restored to what their original state is thought to have been but replacement missing “bits” are clearly shown.

For things such as carvings over temple entrances etc. there is a drawing of what it should look like and then the bits available are displayed in the position they would be in the freize.

Lots of the usual pottery and bronze bits and pieces for the period but an amazing statue of a Naxian Sphinx which had stood in the Temple of Apollo which had been restored. Couple of other Romanesque statues in marble and two large statues of two youths called kourrai.

By now we noticed that it had begun to rain, no not just rain, it was absolutely belting down outside with thunder and lightning like you wouldn’t believe. Wonder what we had done to upset the gods so much? The forecourt of the Museum became flooded as debris had blocked the large drain which ran across the steps. It has obviously not rained so heavily for quite some time to leave the drains blocked. The staff were out there furiously using broom sticks to try to clean the drain so that the water would drain away and the tourists did not have to wade out.

We waited some time as load after load of very drenched students arrived leaving a large puddle of water in the museum precinct as well!!!! John being the chivalrous hero he always is, offered to walk back to the hotel, collect our coats and bring the car down to the museum. Maureen had already decided she wasn’t going to bother doing the temple precinct but I hadn’t come all this way specifically to see the Temple and Oracle without doing so! Maureen sat in the car while John and myself trudged up the hill, guided by a couple of temple dogs we had seen in the main street earlier, trying to take photos in the pouring rain without getting water on the lens. By the time we reached the top, our legs were drenched and the wind was howling somewhat. Couldn’t find the damned Oracle’s stone but managed to get a look at the Temple and the Treasury building ruins. It seemed pointless trying to climb up the steep hill any further so turned around and made our way back down the hill. Damn, only half a bucket list site ticked off. Good old Google will find the Oracle stone for me and I will be content with a picture someone else has taken.

Bought the three of us a coffee at the museum shop before shaking off our jackets and hopping into the car still with very wet legs. Turned the heater up on high for a while to stop the fogging windscreen as we wound our way back down Mt. Parnassos and we did dry out substantially after a while.

Set for a couple of hours’ drive, maybe longer because the rain seems to be hitting the whole region of central Greece and the weather pretty miserable out there.

Our main topic of discussion once again during the drive was how dilapidated, neglected and downright awful every part of Greece we have seen appears to be. We wonder weather Angela Merkel of Germany has been here lately to see what a state the country is in and she knows what Germany is in for with their bailout of Greece. There are new buildings which have just been abandoned mid build, old buildings which have been abandoned, the only businesses which seem to still be going are car dealers. Where towns have had 4 or 5 petrol stations, only the most prosperous one has survived and the others all hoarded up. Houses are in a bad state mostly, roads are abominable and the whole place just smacks of neglect. Maybe the Greeks need to get out of their cafes drinking coffee and smoking and actually do some work in the country. We have not seen one sign of public works going on ANYWHERE. Tourists destinations are hanging in there at present as summer has just past but you have to wonder whether they will make it through winter without the tourists.

It continued raining all the way to Meteora, some 3 hours later and with a little difficulty we found the hotel Doupiani and booked in. We have the most amazing views of the rocks which loom over the small village below but cannot see any of the monasteries from where we are. We will investigate them early tomorrow.

Settled in with a couple of drinkies at the bar and then a drive back into the village for another traditional Greek meal for dinner. Taverna Paradiso was the restaurant of choice and they did not disappoint. Dolmades, fried battered zucchini and cheese and dill stuffed aubergines for starters and then moussaka for Maureen and I and a Greek pork kebap for John and the gorgeous little tortoiseshell kitty sitting at his feet meowing every few seconds for more. Just as well John wasn’t too hungry. I think it will be another early night again as we have to go to the monasteries in the morning before making our way into Athens where we will stay 2 nights. After what we have seen around the countryside, we are beginning to believe what just about everyone has told us that Athens is a dump. This includes our Greek neighbour George Zamanas back home. Oh well, it is only two nights, a couple of walking tours, a trip to the Acropolis, Parthenon Temple of Diana and then we are hopefully outta there to amazing Turkey.

Goodnight All.

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